Friday, October 28, 2011

An unfinished thought from a baffled female

"I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening." ––Sue Monk Kidd  
   "You slut" slung out of the fifteen year old boy’s mouth across the school classroom.
     My first thought: I don't think I have ever been called a slut. (I was more a prude than promiscuous in high school)
     My second thought: What does being easy have to do with taking away his laptop?
     Nothing, of course, but what a revealing statement of our society, or at least of this environ, and yes, this was on Kaua`i. I was, in his eyes, being a “bitch” (something I have been called quite a bit) but his insult flung to slut: “a dirty slovenly, woman.”
     Perhaps I am over-sensitized as I am reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and meeting girlfriends to see a premiere screening of Miss Representation this evening, yes, on Kaua`i too.  But I doubt it. It sure seemed to me that this knee-jerk insult speaks of a dangerous time for women. A time when what was sacred has been destroyed and what is sexual has been diminished to easy and exploitable.
     I have been told to “be more feminine” and that I am “too cute.” I have been told to be "stronger" and that my strength makes me "intimidating" to men. I have been told to jump and stay still at the same time: It’s pretty tricky to keep up with being a woman.
     As I sit in the coffee-shop to write, I overhear a newspaper read aloud:
            “Uncle asks how do you not get a girl pregnant. Get it. Like he would get a girl pregnant, how can other men not and ….. ok, nevermind.”
            I don’t strain to hear where that voice trails off to.
            Get: purchasable, snareable, controllable. Get a girl, then get her pregnant. It is saddening to me…now here comes when I could say “In 2011” but haven’t people been saying that (or not saying that in fear) for eons. That in this day and in this age things should have changed?
            There is a picture circulating on facebook, of a man holding a honu (turtle) underwater and the positioning is such that it looks like he is entering the turtle from behind. Has the sexual aggression, personal submission, and appreciation for the sacred, for the feminine (which resides in both male and female) become extinct? No barriers of species or society, neverminding morality. Anything goes, and in turn, much is lost.
            The aggressive superiority of one over another, whether your own masculine side over your own feminine, or flower over fauna, rich over poor, this struggle, is strangling us in ways we dare not bring to the light. Our world, from the discarded trees to occupied streets, is screaming for us to return to the simple ways, a softer way of living. Yet, if we leave these immature tendrils, a young boy who parrots his parents, or the loud drum of the media, the fear, the ignorance, the whatever - unlabeled seeds still grow, left to raise themselves and proliferate by their own devices.

A Woman is Not a Potted Plant
A woman is not a potted plant
her roots bound
to the confines
of her house

a woman is not
a potted plant
her leaves trimmed
to the contours
of her sex

a woman is not
a potted plant
her branches
against the fences
of her race
her country
her mother
her man
her trained blossom
turning this way
to follow
the sun
of whoever feeds
and waters

a woman
is wilderness
holding the future
between each breath
walking the earth
only because
she is free
and not creeper vine
or tree

Nor even honeysuckle
or bee.

~Alice Walker


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate. Thank you for this. I have so often had thoughts on this subject but you have put some of it so wisely into words. It is words one need to read alound.

Will we ever get to a stage where there is beauty in all respect for oneself?

Wisdom of One said...

Thank you for your kind words. It seems it is the work of our every day to create that stage.
Nice to see you working alongside.